Chef Geo Soul said one time, as a child, she thought she could bake a cake in the microwave. That didn’t turn out too well, but it goes to show that the culinary artist has been experimenting in the kitchen for decades. Don’t worry, she has the basic do’s and don’ts down now. Preparing meals is a passion, she said, and her love for it really started as a child.
“At a very early age I was able to embrace other nationalities and foods,” she said. During her elementary school years, she attended school in South Chicago, which she described demographically as a predominately Latino community.
“I was mostly around Mexicans so I had a real love for Mexican foods at an early age,” she said. Her relationship with other ethnic foods did not end there. Her family moved to the suburbs while she was in fourth grade. That is where Geo said she found herself as the minority, yet again. She became friends with the large Jewish population at her new school.
“A lot of my friends’ parents were Jewsish so I had the opportunity to learn about Jewish foods, I was introduced to different foods at their house,” she said, adding that she was always that friend who had no problem helping out in the kitchen. All of that experience would be used later when she opened her first restaurant.
It’s not unusual for a little girl to pick up cooking skills from her mother, but Chef Geo Soul said her mother was working and attending college at the same time so there wasn’t much time for creative cooking. Her mother would cook enough food to last Geo and her siblings throughout the week. Chef Geo spent a lot of time in the kitchen either alone or with cousins and as she got older, she would cook for friends and family. She said her grandmother taught her about traditional African American dishes known by many as “soul food.”
Chef Geo Soul is a mother to a 20-year-old son, who she says is now taking an interest in cooking. Chef Geo Soul said she likes to take traditional foods, but give them something that pops. She owned her own restaurant from 2010 to 2012, but had to close for a combination of reasons. “Geo” means world soul she said, but the restaurant wasn’t just about the soul.
“Good food is good food; you want that authenticity with whatever food you eat, but it’s nice to have some form or creativity,” she said, adding that she likes what she calls that added “flavor note.”
She has plans to open another restaurant in the future, but right now she is attending Le Cordon Bleu to learn more.
Chef Geo wants to share a great recipe that can be used for the fourth and throughout the summer season. Let her know what you think by following her on social media! @Reallygeosoul
Here’s what she has to say…
How about you…
Take time to visit your local farmer’s market. The produce is fresh, in season and ready for the grill. I purchased a few fresh veggies for a quick lunch. I marinated some eggplant, squash, zucchini, red onion, Portobello mushroom, carrot, red pepper and also a chicken breast. With a small dab of jasmine rice, I was feeling good. So Yummy!
1 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup. Red Wine Vinegar
1 tbs. Dried Italian Herbs
1 clove Garlic (minced)
1 tsp. Sugar
Whisk above ingredients.
And set aside.
Now slice whatever vegetables you choose in large slices so they don’t slip through the grid if you’re grilling on an open flame.
You can choose to grill corn, asparagus, green peppers or any array of your favorite vegetables. Your options are endless and this vegetable medley can change each time.
You drizzle above marinate on vegetable, cover for 10-20 minutes.
If you’re sure you’ve marinated all your vegetables, then place the chicken in extra marinade and allow it to also marinate for 10-20 minutes.
Discard any unused marinade.
After you’ve marinated the vegetables, place them on an open flame and don’t turn quickly (2-3 min approx.) so that your vegetables can get a nice char or grill mark.
Do the same with the chicken, but with chicken you must make sure it’s cooked well (internal temp 165).
This is always a fast, easy option for any meal of the day. If during your next shopping excursion you find fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme, cilantro, pick one and finely chop a few sprigs to sprinkle on your dish. The warm vegetables and scent of the fresh herbs smells good, but tastes even better.
So Share and Enjoy!